Create your future @ NCC

Group Exercise Instructor Certificate


"A rewarding certificate program of study for those interested in optimizing the benefits associated with group exercise."

Career Opportunities are available in:

  • Health-Fitness and Wellness Centers
  • Non-Profit, Recreation and Community Centers
  • Corporate Wellness Centers
  • Rehabilitation Centers



What does a group exercise instructor do?

Group exercise instructors lead, instruct, and motivate groups of individuals in exercise activities, including cardiovascular exercise (exercises for the heart and blood system), strength training, and stretching. They work with people of all ages, skill levels, and health conditions.  Group exercise instructors are also able to provide plans for behavior management to improve the personal fitness and wellness of an individual. 

Certificate Program Description

The Group Exercise Instructor Certificate at Norwalk Community College is designed to provide fundamental and theoretical knowledge as well as practical skills necessary to assume the role of a group exercise instructor in commercial or clinical exercise settings. The certificate will integrate up-to-date guidelines and recommendations into the curriculum to meet specific job tasks of a group exercise instructor, including but not limited to: class design, leadership and motivation, general exercise testing and prescription and studio management. Graduates of the certificate will demonstrate sound communication skills, life-long learning, safe and effective exercise programming and compassion for those they work with.  This certificate will also prepare the student for the American College of Sports Medicine's Group Exercise Instructor Certification Exam.  

Certificate Program Outcomes

Upon Successful Completion of all program requirements, graduates will be able to:

  • Demonstrate an understanding of related exercise physiology, kinesiology and nutrition related to the group exercise setting.  

  • Demonstrate entry level knowledge and skills necessary for safe and appropriate health screenings and exercise assessments.

  • Display sound knowledge and skills needed for group exercise class design and delivery with a variety of populations. 

  • Practice sound, prudent, and ethical functions necessary in accordance with the legal and professional scope of the Group Exercise Instructor.  

  • Develop leadership, interpersonal and communication skills necessary to be an effective professional in this career path. 

  • Effect continuous improvement of the profession by actively pursuing career development and maintenance of certifications. 

certificate program of study

Course Semester 1 Credits Course Semester 2 Credits
ENG 101 Composition 3 HPE 245 Programming and Prescription I 4
HPE 105 Introduction to Exercise Science 3 HPE 213 Group Exercise Instruction II 4
HPE 232 First Aid and Sport Injury 2 BIO 111 Nutrition 3
HPE 113 Group Exercise Instruction I 4 BMK 201 Principles of Marketing 3
PSY 111
SOC 101
General Psychology
Principles of Sociology
HPE* Physical Activity Elective
(2 @ 0.5 credits each)
  TOTAL 16   TOTAL 14

Admissions Process

Contact the Admissions Office to learn more about the opportunities available at NCC. Call (203) 857-7060 or 857- 7160.

For specific information about the Group Exercise Certificate Program, call Director of Exercise Science and Wellness Paul Gallo at (203) 857-7194 or e-mail him at or Exercise Science Faculty Member, Nicole Hafner at (203) 857-7330 or e-mail her at

Group Exercise Instructor Facts

Quick Facts: Group Exercise Instructors

2013 Pay Range

$ 20,000 to 45,000 depending on experience

Entry-Level Education

High school diploma plus Certification

On-the-job Training

Short-term on-the-job training

Number of Jobs, 2010


Job Outlook, 2010-20

24% (Faster than average)

Employment Change, 2010-20


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